Discovery, Research, and Testing

Collecting data about design is easy in the digital world. We no longer have to conduct in-person experiments to track pedestrians’ behavior in an airport terminal or the movement of eyeballs across a page. New digital technologies allow us to easily measure almost anything, and apps, social media platforms, websites, and email programs come with…

March 10th, 2015

A Beginner’s Guide to Web Site Optimization—Part 3

Communication and team and tool selection

Web site optimization has become an essential capability in today’s conversion-driven web teams. In Part 1 of this series, we introduced the topic as well as discussed key goals and philosophies. In Part 2, I presented a detailed and customizable process. In this final article, we’ll cover communication planning and how to select the appropriate team and tools to do the…

In the previous article we talked about why site optimization is important and presented a few important goals and philosophies to impart on your team. I’d like to switch gears now and talk about more tactical stuff, namely, process. Optimization process Establishing a well-formed, formal optimization process is beneficial for the following reasons. It organizes the workflow and sets clear…

January 13th, 2015

A Beginner’s Guide to Web Site Optimization—Part 1

Practical advice for starting and running your own A/B testing program

Web site optimization, commonly known as A/B testing, has become an expected competency among many web teams, yet there are few comprehensive and unbiased books, articles, or training opportunities aimed at individuals trying to create this capability within their organization. In this series, I’ll present a detailed, practical guide on how to build, fine-tune, and…

This article is a guide on what to expect, and how to get the most from your UX researcher–a user manual, if you will. You will invest a lot in your researcher and you deserve the greatest return. You should have high expectations for this critical component of your UX team, and following the recommendations…

StartX, a nonprofit startup accelerator, recently devoted an entire day to the role of design in early-stage companies. One panel included Laura Klein, Todd Zaki-Warfel, Christina Wodtke, and Mike Long. Each panelist had made their mark on how design is done in start-ups: Laura wrote the influential O’Reilly book on UX for Lean Startups, and…

An important part of any user experience department should be a consistent outreach effort to users both familiar and unfamiliar. Yet, it is hard to both establish and sustain a continued voice amongst the business of our schedules. Recruiting, screening, and scheduling daily or weekly one-on-one walkthroughs can be daunting for someone in a small…

It’s common in our field to hear that we don’t get enough time to regularly practice all the types of research available to us, and that’s often true, given tight project deadlines and limited resources. But one form of user research–contextual inquiry–can be practiced regularly just by watching people use the things around them and…

“Above all else show the data.” –Edward Tufte Survey responses. Product reviews. Keyword searches. Forums. As UX practitioners, we commonly scour troves of qualitative data for customer insight. But can we go faster than line-by-line analysis? Moreover, how can we provide semantic analysis to project stakeholders? Enter Wordle. If you haven’t played with it yet,…

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